Research Papers

Motorist’s Attitudes to Speed Limits in Australia

Filename 3A-Brian-Fildes.pdf
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Date added May 11, 2011
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Category 2011 CMRSC XXI Halifax
Tags Dr. Charles H. Miller Award Winner, Session 3A
Author/Auteur Brian Fildes, Julie Lahausse, Jim Langford, Michael Keall, Nicole van Ness
Award/Prix Dr. Charles H. Miller


Brian Fildes and Dale Faulkner

Brian Fildes and Dale Faulkner

A collaborative research study was undertaken in four Australian states to assess community attitudes towards current speed limits and to identify some of the reasons for these attitudes. An on-line web-based survey conducted in each state yielded a total of 4100 responses from mainly licensed drivers aged 18 to over 55 years. The majority surveyed were in favour of reducing speed limits on two-lane 100km/h undivided rural roads and on rural gravel roads, but only about one-third supported lower limits in urban areas at this time. The survey showed that many respondents did not fully understand the role between speeding and speed limits and their association with crash risk, the environment and local amenity. The results also showed that respondents with higher levels of understanding were more likely to approve lower speed limits – suggesting from a safety perspective, the value in further promoting increased understanding of key speed-related issues. While the study was confined to a web-based volunteer sample with its potential bias, the results are encouraging for highlighting the need for new initiatives aimed at increasing knowledge about the consequences of speeding and its impact on amenity and the environment, as a means to support lowered speed limits in this country.

Brian Fildes, Julie Lahausse, Jim Langford, Michael Keall, Nicole van Ness